Friday, March 16, 2018



Reference photo for subject

Reference for snow

I mask out areas that have a bit of snow on the surface, then just start in, working mostly wet on dry as the areas to be painted are quite small and not too conducive to wet-in-wet. 

Again, I am using my favourite triad of quin. burnt orange, quin. violet and indanthrone.

And as usual, I give little thought to a background till the subject is well under way [NOT a great method, but it's me]. I decide to put in a wintery morning sky, and lay in a w/w graded wash of aureolin. I let it dry, then do another graded wash of grey [perm. rose, aureolin and cobalt blue] on the sky. I also wash on a thin application of the grey on the unmasked snow, to make the white on the wagon stand out.

It still looks too empty, so I put in a line of trees over the rise.  To get a more natural look, I use a sponge evenly along the edge of the hill and randomly above. I then quickly drop in a pre-mixed dull green [quin. gold and indanthrone], starting at the bottom and letting it flow upwards into the sponged areas. It still looks rather bleak and miserable, but that's how I feel about winter, and also how I feel about what is happening where I live. Here in south Langley, we are being "invaded" by real estate developers and speculators, and I truly fear for the continuance of this incredibly beautiful rural, agricultural area!

Thank you so much for dropping by!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

TAKING A GANDER - available for purchase

Taking a Gander
framable size 8.5 x 6.5 in./ 21 x 16.5 cm.
$95.00 Cdn

TAKING A GANDER - step by step watercolour painting

 This is the drawing I prepared for my students - much cleaner and more precise than what I work with myself. I tend to be a very rough sketcher.

 First washes - all done wet in wet. Aureolin  and quin. burnt orange for the body, quin. sienna for the feet, and a dark brown [quin. burnt orange, quin. violet and indanthrone] for the legs. The class and I will be doing more of the technique I used on their feet - having two concentrations of the colour I am using, one more dilute for the overall wash of colour, and a thicker one for more depth. It's important to keep the brush you use for the thicker paint rather dry, so you are adding mostly pigment, not more water to the area.

Building up more of the local colour. Their bills are quin. sienna with some thin indanthrone.

I add more of the dark [burnt orange, violet and indanthrone] to their bodies and legs, and some detailed markings with a thick mixture and fairly dry brush.

I hope you enjoyed the goslings. Thank you for dropping by!

Tuesday, February 27, 2018


Drawing of three chicks, with all sorts of scribbled notes [sometimes even phone numbers and appointments!]

Start with w/w application of aureolin, then dry feathering with black [quin. burnt orange, quin. violet and indanthrone]

More feathering ...

Beaks and feet with quin. sienna, and sienna mixed with violet for shadows

NOW we're getting somewhere! Then, lastly, a "ground" of burnt orange and violet

19 x 28 cm. framable
$149.00 Cdn

Thank you so much for dropping by!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

UNO'S COUSIN, PRIMO - a watercolour step by step process

Primo, in his natural colouring ...

Another of my neighbour's roosters. She had about 6 at one point. I like the pose in the 1st photo, but LOVE the colours of the second, so I combined the two ...

My drawing ...

First wet in wet washes. There are a lot of smaller areas of different colours. I am doing what I can w/w in the larger areas.  Here I am using alizarin crimson, quin. sienna, quin. burnt orange, phthalo blue and browns and blacks [quin. burnt orange, quin. violet and indanthrone].

The next few steps are a matter of intensifying the colours, usually with more of the same, and sometimes with a complement added to darken.

Colours are established overall ...

A bit of chicken-scratch spatter on the ground ...

I am adding a soft background with permanent rose [any cool quin. pink will do],  quin. burnt orange and indanthrone. I am applying it quite thinly.

These last two photos are taken at the same stage, with different lighting. I find it difficult to get a true  assessment of the colour using just the computer editing. I have posted both images so you may get a better idea of the colours and values.

available for purchase
framable size 13 x 14.5 in./ 33.5 x 38 cm.
$375.00 Cdn

Thank you so much for dropping by!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018


Here he was in November ...

... and as of a few days ago. Whether the painting is "better" or "worse", I don't know - one of those unexplainable things attributable to taste.

39 x 32.5 cm. framable
$375.00 Cdn

Thank you so much for dropping by!!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018


I think I did this last summer, and thought it finished. But I decided to dig it out and have a critical look.  One of my shortcomings in watercolour is not carrying the painting to completion. I remember a series of classes I took in Vancouver years ago, and the instructor's favourite phrase to me was "darker ... darker'', get those values dark! So I soaked the killdeer for a few minutes, stapled her back down, and finished her - I did some more detailing, intensifying some of the darks to bring out the feathers, and gave her  "home" - something reminiscent of her habitat. I call it "the Dance" as she reminds me  of that as she goes into her distraction display.

Dance of the Killdeer
13 x 11 in./ 34 x 29 cm. framable
Available for purchase - $285.00 Cdn

Thank you very much for your visit!

Sunday, January 7, 2018


A free hand drawing of a Toulouse goose. I decided to have him marching off in the snow, heading home.

Thin washes of phthalo blue and permanent rose ...

... then start on the feathers, using browns and greys made with quin. burnt orange, quin. violet and indanthrone.

Bill and feet are quin. sienna.

What possessed me to choose pink I don't know!

So I went over it again with indanthrone, giving it some more depth and more pronounced foot prints.

Every year I get Pat the same gift - a voucher for a nearby nursery/garden centre. She loves her garden [we can both hardly wait till Spring!] and this way we both enjoy the beauty of all the flowers. As usual, I am never ready for Christmas - had my gift certificate but no card. So I quickly made this up. WHEW

Thank you very much for your visit, and I wish you a very happy and fulfilling New Year!!!!!